I’ve been experimenting with a new approach to learning a programming language — porting code from a language I don’t know to one that I already do. In this case, I’m porting Scala code to Java.
The traditional method of learning a language is to find a project and start writing code in the new language, and I’ve used it many times in the past. In this case, I’m trying to get up to speed on an existing code base written in Scala so that I can help maintain and extend it. Part of the work is learning how to write Scala, and part of it is becoming familiar with the structure and style of this code base.
I’m finding it works really well. You can’t successfully port code to another language unless your really understand how it works, and you have to learn the language to get there. In the worst case, if I port everything and I still don’t know Scala, we can just use the ported code.